Monday, March 3, 2014

Tubes and Tonsils and Adenoids, oh my!

Well we managed to miss another big milestone, last month marked two years since my heart surgery. I'm happy to say that I'm still doing just fine, though I'm sure I would feel even better if I lost some weight. I'm hoping that some upcoming events will help motivate me to get myself to a more comfortable size. Thankfully the Hubby has unclenched some and has started to let me experiment a little more in the kitchen and had even started to make small changes on his own. Baby steps!

But with all happy news there must come some scary news. This Friday my baby girl is going to have surgery to remove her tonsils and adenoids and to put tubes in her ears. We decided to take the earliest appointment we could get with her ENT because her tonsils are seriously affecting her sleep. She constantly had these super dark circles under her eyes and snores so loudly you can just tell that she's not breathing very well. Not to Mentone the constant ear infections on top of numerous aliments throughout the entire cold and flu season add well as through the rest of the year.  Nonetheless when I officially got the surgery date I freaked out. I've managed to calm myself by reading blog posts from other moms that went through it with their kiddos and felt validated that this isn't an elective surgery, it IS necessary and it DOES need to happen now. But it's still my baby. And it doesn't help that of course the little one who has the heart murmur is also the one with giant tonsils and adenoids that make her sound like Janice from Friends and gets ear infections at the drop of a hat. One of my coworkers commented that it seems like Sophia has been sick pretty much ever since I have worked at PharMerica (which is going on 10 months) and honestly, she mostly had been! A couple ear infections we were able to ward off without an antibiotic treatment but then she would get crap like RSV and strep and sinus infections. So here's hoping things can only get better for her!

As for big sister, she's just as healthy as can be, thank the Lord. She had a bit of a rough cough we have been keeping an eye on so we have had to put the girls in separate rooms just as a precaution. She doesn't quite understand what is going on at the end of this week but helped me make a list of soft foods that will be good on sister's sore throat. And she was ELATED to get the news that she gets all the red and purple popsicles.

So in conclusion, any prayers will be very welcome at this time. This mommy is still freaked out and the thought of all of our friends and family praying for us will help immensely.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Time Passing

So let's see...well, the big stuff first I guess!

I finally got the hell out of Wal-Mart after 5 years there!  I started working for a pharmacy that distributes to long-term care no customers!  That seems to be the first thing I say about my new job, and still after 5 months there it is by far my favorite part.  There are other perks, but after some of the people I dealt with over the years, no customers is a huge bonus.  Let me be clear, though...I miss the hell out of most of my coworkers!  We had that whole "bonding in the battlefield" mentality thing and I still feel the need to lean behind the counter and chuckle when I get an order written out for a drug that is so misspelled it looks like my 4-yr old tried to spell it out!  Hopefully that doesn't the pharmacy world, those kinds of things are sometimes the highlight of our day!

The girls are growing more and more every day...Sophia turned two a few weeks ago and I thought I would bawl my eyes out. 

But now my oldest is turning 4 in just a few short days and I can't believe how fast time as gone!

  And soon after my two girls have their birthdays I will be celebrating one more year closer to 30.  However, I think I have accepted the next decade with a positive outlook.  I mean a few small twists of fate and I could have missed them altogether, so why not be excited for my 30's, right?  And I feel like my twenties was a collective assortment of bad decisions, colossal fuck-ups, and treading that thin line between oh-so-sweet middle class lifestyle and poverty.  Granted, I got some beautiful things from it!  So I made a list...that's right! The top twenty things I learned in my twenties...and I plan to share these with my girls!

1) Never EVER stay with a man who gives you an ultimatum.  Period. I could elaborate, but I won't bother.

2) Stay in school. Sounds cliché, but believe me, an education is always worth it.  Because if you take that one semester off, or even one year, the odds are you will get sucked into the work force and won't go back.  Don't take the chance.  Power through the first semester that feels like torture and keep at it.

3) Know your credit score and do everything you can to keep it as high as possible.  Wish I had listened to my mommy on this one! 

4) Don't gossip.  No one is perfect and most of the time you will probably get sucked into the gossip, but in my experience, "What Sally says of Susie says more of Sally than it does of Susie."  <---Word.

5) Know that there are just some people you should not trust, and learn how to identify them.

6) Travel.  As far and wide (and safely!) as possible. 

7) Never take a nude photo.  This should be self explanatory, but for some reason it isn't and is easily forgotten with a bottle of tequila...and a pack of cigarettes...and a water hose...not that I'm speaking from experience...

8) Watch Disney movies after a movie that has scared you or shaken may not make you feel better right in that moment, but when you're curling up to go to sleep that night and can't stop thinking about that disturbing movie, you can replay the Disney one a lot easier after a fresh viewing.

9) Learn to clean your entire house, top to bottom, and learn to take pride in your work.  <---still working on this one!

10) Learn what clothes fit your figure and, more importantly, which ones do not. 

11) Don't focus on what doesn't look good on you, because even if you can't wear skinny jeans or bikinis or whatever the newest fashion trend is, it doesn't mean that you aren't absolutely beautiful just the way you are.

12) Know when you (YOU!) are comfortable with how you look and when you (YOU!!!!) want to make a change.

13) Don't be a mean girl.  Bringing someone down does NOT lift you up, it tears your soul down and takes a long time to forgive yourself.

14) Know when to shut your mouth and walk away. 

15) Be a kid for the first 18 years of your life...don't force yourself to grow up unnecessarily early.

16) There is never going to be a perfect time to have kids.  No matter how clearly you plan it out, kids will absolutely turn your life completely upside incredible, amazing ways and scary, annoying ways.  Still...get through your teenage years. Once you are out of your teens, you have the next 20-something years to consider having a family. Teen parents aren't cool just because they are on TV.  Honey Boo Boo is on TV too...'nuff said!

17) Harry Potter = awesome....Twilight = pathetic.  I know...I read them all and saw all the movies.  I'll take Harry, Ron, and Hermione over Edward, Bella, and Jacob any day.

18) Never believe what you see or hear on the news. If you hear about something that interests you, research it yourself through multiple different sources and learn how to form your own educated opinions on the subject.  And don't let all of the sources be on the internet...sometimes another person's opinion can really affect how you feel on the subject, in a good or bad way!

19) Never hate anyone for whom they choose to love.  Everyone deserves to love and be loved. 

20) Forgive.  If you hang onto hate long enough, the only person it harms is you. 

I still have 39ish months before I officially enter my 30's, so I'm sure I will learn more in that time.  These just happen to be what I was feeling passionately about right now.

As for the super-special heart, things are mostly good in that department.  I've been having a little more frequent episodes of palpitations and shortness of breath.  I contacted my cardiologist and we're in the process of setting up a time to fit me with a halter monitor to make sure nothing more serious is going on...I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that I'm officially at my heaviest! 

The Hubby and I had agreed that if we were going to have a third baby any time in the next 3-5 years we would have to make some serious changes and stick with them.  Both of my previous pregnancies were a nightmare, and not just because of the mostly silent heart condition.  With Penny, I was nauseous literally up to the day I had her.  Not kidding, I threw up, peed, and passed my mucous plug in that order...nice visual, right? You're welcome.  But that was just the tip of the iceberg.  With Sophia I was pretty nauseous, but mostly just when I ate meat or got too hungry...freakin' Granola fetus.  But that wasn't all!  I developed a pregnancy-specific rash that was just awesome, so basically my body was allergic to being pregnant...and then I failed my glucose test and with the threat of having to inject myself with insulin every day I just barely escaped being classified with "gestational diabetes" because I drastically altered my diet.  Don't know why I can't do that when I'm not pregnant!  Oh, and did I mention that with both pregnancies (both long SUMMER pregnancies) I got to go through record high temperatures?  Yeah, with Penny it was a record-breaking summer with like 80+ days over 100 degrees...and then with Sophia, that summer broke the previous record with over 100+ days of 100+ degree weather. Seriously, like two weeks after she was born was the first rain we had seen for MONTHS!  So, it's not just a fear of how my super-special heart would handle the pregnancy but the rest of my body as well.

At this point in time, I'm ready to turn in my baby-making card and get a puppy.  But all of my darn friends have these super cute babies that smell so darn good and look so cute with their chubby cheeks...and of course Penny asks occasionally for another brother or sister.  Really, she asked for four brothers but I just laughed at her. That's so not happening.  And if someone says the word "twins" I'm going to make YOU carry my next child! As for my husband, well he comes from a pretty large family and still insists he knows I will change my mind.  He's probably right. But not any time soon. 

I'm actually enjoying where our family is at right now.  Both of the girls are old enough that they are mostly self-sufficient.  Sophia is still quite young so she's still quite needy.  Plus she's the baby of the family and loves it.  However, she's still at that sweet age where she holds my hand everywhere we go, even if I'm just riding in the car next to her.  And she loves her big sister so much!

As for Penny, she just started Pre-school and it seems to be a great step for her.  Though at this current moment while I am writing this, she's curled up in our pink rocking chair cuddled under a blanket sniffling and looking quite pathetic.  She's a little stopped up and our normal routines aren't working for her, so I had to give her a gentle laxative and don't know what to expect so I'm keeping her up.  I get to be one of those parent's who complain about those gosh darn school lunches!  Honestly I think she hasn't been getting enough fiber and water, so we will just have to get that in at breakfast and dinner.  BTW for those of you who don't have kids...just wait. You, too, will talk about poop in every day conversation and not even realize that people might be grossed out. Frankly, I don't care because I'm pretty sure most of the people who read this are parents. I wanted to get Penny into some kind of a dance class but gymnastics was such a disaster last year that I'm hesitating hardcore to sign her up. 

We have a trip down to the beach coming up soon. We had to fill out a form to take her out of school for the week, but that is what makes this trip awesome!  It will be during the week during the school year so I'm hoping the beaches won't be so packed and maybe even have a small amount of rain while we are on our trip.  I shouldn't have said that, though...I usually run into bad weather on my road trips anyway, so asking for it might be a bad idea...but still, is there anything more beautiful than a calm rainy day on the beach? 




Thursday, March 21, 2013

Still Determined to Find the Silver Linings!

Since the last post, I reached the one year anniversary since my heart surgery!  It fell on January 31st, and it got me thinking about where I was a year ago and where I am now.  Not just with my heart, everything is just peachy on that end, but where I am in life.  

I was so upset a few months after my surgery because I was feeling as though I hadn't accomplished anything with my life.  I was living at my parents house (again!) with my two girls and my husband and it was more difficult than I had anticipated.  But my wonderful husband reminded me that I had accomplished what I had wanted to do when we had first met.  

I guess it's a pretty typical first or second date question, when you ask the other person where they see themselves in the future or what they want to be.  Or at least it is for me, apparently.  Anyway, when he asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I hesitated.  I knew my answer would probably send him running for the hills and since we worked together that could be awkward.  But I told him the truth.  I wanted to be a mom.  And not just be a mom, I meant I wanted to get married and have children (that I could support) and have a career that allows me time with them.  I wanted to raise them to be good people and learn from my mistakes in life, and I wanted to marry someone who wanted children as much as I did, and would be there for our children.  

Minus a few bumps in the road, I have done that.  I have two beautiful girls who, despite some bratty stages, are wonderful.  I have a job that I can work as much or as little as I would like that provides good insurance for my family.  And above all of that, I have a husband who never stops working for our family.  He killed himself for a year trying to cover my medical expenses from my surgery and paying off other credit cards and bills so that he could go back to school for his masters, which he is doing now.  

Now, unfortunately we did have a development that shook me to my core.  As you all know, I never knew about my heart condition until I was in my surgery delivering Sophia, my youngest daughter.  Since my condition is hereditary, my husband and I have had to have hundreds of conversations about whether or not we are going to have any more children.  When we got married we had decided that three felt like a good number for us.  However, bringing another child into the world KNOWING they could have a very good chance at inheriting my "super-special" heart is different than having children and THEN finding out about your condition. 

Having said this, when Sophia was sick earlier this winter we found out that she has a heart murmur.  Immediately, I had her pediatrician make her an appointment to see a pediatric cardiologist.  I'm also pretty sure I cried myself to sleep and cursed my bad genes.  Yesterday was her appointment and we didn't really find out anything.  The only thing the doctor really had to say was that she is too young to show any signs but the odds are not in our favor.  Then she was poked on for about 20 minutes at the lab to draw some blood for genetic testing so that we can find out once and for all if Penny and Sophia have whatever gene I have that causes the condition.  

I keep going back and forth between level-headed person hearing heath information and taking it in strides and super-crazy Momma Bear who wants to curl up in a ball and cry myself to sleep and curse my genes again.  Today I'm focusing on the positive.  Those same genes could mean she gets my awesome sense of humor and favorite music styles, or my ridiculous habit of crying at anything from music (again) to movies, books, pins on Pinterest...hell, even commercials.  She could get my hair that stays stick straight until you hit puberty, and then suddenly curls and waves appear and you have NO idea what to do with them.  Part of me even thinks her eyes could still turn blue *fingers crossed!!!*  So for the one bad gene I probably passed on, there are lots of other good ones that she can get, too!  Her big sister already inherited my fantastic fashion sense *see Facebook pictures* so I think as far as good genes go, there's plenty to go around between the two of them and probably any other sibling that joins our crazy little family.  

And, as always, I am humbled and extremely touched at how much my family and friends have once again rallied behind us.  I am so lucky and fortunate to have you all in my life, and I'm going to change the subject because apparently I can even make MYSELF cry....

For the Meiris side, today we mentioned a family reunion and I WANT TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN!  It has been TEN YEARS since the last one!  That is just too darn long.  I don't care where we have it, count me in!  Tennessee sounds like a blast since that was the first place that was thrown out there, and I plan to show up all the boys again with my fishing skills =)

Oh yeah, one last thing!  My totally awesome sister was contacted by this totally awesome compounding pharmacy that makes this cream for scars.  So she wrote me a prescription and even with my insurance the price was well over $500, so I politely asked them to cancel it and thanked them for their time.  Well, their pharmacist called me back the next day and told me that since my sister is a physician, they were going to extend a professional courtesy for me and fill it free of charge.  WOO HOO!  I've only been using it for about 3 days so no results yet but I'm excited to see what it will do for me!  The entire scar is about 4-5 inches long and the bottom 2-3 inches has already flattened and turned flesh colored instead of bright pink, but the top 2 inches is still puffy and pink and it drives me crazy.  Mederma makes me want to scratch my skin off, so I'm very excited to try this new stuff out.  I refer to it as the "Gold-Infused Miracle Cream" and hopefully it has good results. 

Anyway...that's all, folks!


Friday, October 5, 2012

Birthdays change so much when you get old...

Two weeks ago, I made a point to clearly tell my husband that I had very specific things I wanted for my birthday. 

1) I wanted to go do dinner ALONE with him to this Indian restaurant, Maharajah's, for my birthday dinner. 
2) He was in charge of arranging a babysitter
3) I was getting a tattoo

Well, instead of the tattoo I let the Hubby talk me into a shopping spree. Not too bad, I got a new pair of work pants, work shirt, cardigan, and some new NOT cheap makeup. And promptly after the first use of my new mascara, my sneaky toddler tiptoed into our bathroom and "painted" the walls and toilet and floor around the toilet. We do clean and everything, but it's a rental house and not a very nice rental house so that was the end of my mascara! 

The day before my birthday, Hubby tells me he hasn't been able to arrange a babysitter...there goes the last two things I wanted. 

Secretly, the entire day I was at work I was hoping he was just teasing me and he would be whisking me off for my dream dinner. But I knew deep down that was just not happening. So when he got home from picking up the girls from daycare, we chatted about what to do for dinner and it was going nowhere, so we opted for delivery. Somehow, I wound up sitting alone in the living room watching television (ON MY BIRTHDAY) while he watched TV in another room with our toddler and while the baby slept. Grr. 

But then, after dinner, he went and got a cupcake and put a candle in it and sang Happy Birthday to me with the girls. And yes, I cried.

To give my husband some credit, he has never really celebrated birthdays and my family goes kind of insane over every holiday, especially birthdays. I have a pretty high bar of expectation when it comes to birthdays, this is true! But he gave me the best birthday he could think of.  And there is something wonderful and beautiful in that. 

Now to change the subject a everyone has realized by now, I have two daughters.  And I am not a stick figure. I CONSTANTLY worry that my daughters will struggle with the same body image and weight issues that I have had for my entire life. I only hope that I can help them to understand that they are NOT just a number on a scale, but also to be strong and motivated enough to work hard to look the way they want for THEMSELVES, not society. I'm not sure if everyone has seen the story about the news anchor who was blasted by a viewer for being fat, but I did and I saw red and completely lost my shit over it. 

If not familiar, click here:

First of all, she never in any way asked for this man's opinion of her. She knows she isn't skinny, nor is she trying to be! Just because she is on TV does NOT mean she needs to be skinny!  Yes, being obese is becoming much too common and it is incredibly unhealthy. But pointing it out to someone, ESPECIALLY in that way, is NOT going to help anything. In fact it will most likely do the opposite. Or just piss her off. Which it seemed to. Good for you, girl. Stick it to him. 

On that note, I don't want my girls to be skinny. I want them to be healthy and confident. Period.  If anyone ever told my girls that they should be ashamed of themselves for having extra weight, I would run them over with a car. Not kidding. I hope this guys mother doesn't know what her son said to another woman.

Something to teach your daughters: They are beautiful the way God made them. 

Also: It's a vagina. Not a cookie, hoo-hah, vajayjay, or any other stupid name that parents make up because they don't want their kids to say the real word. Big pet peeve of mine. It's a body part, not a dirty word. If you have one, you should be able to say it! If you don't have one, you shouldn't get to see one until you are mature enough to say it...and then wait a few more years =)

As my birthday draws to an end, one more big THANK YOU to my friends and family for all the birthday wishes! 26 feels WAY better than 25 did.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hello, Fall! How I Have Missed You...

It has been raining here for the last 3 days straight, and it has been AWESOME!  Call me a freak, but I love nothing more than super dreary, stormy weather. As long as there's no hail or tornado warnings, I am in HEAVEN!  Unfortunately, today that means that my niece's bounce house party had to change a bit (we'll be doing kids karaoke instead! Woot woot!) but I'm still on cloud nine and can't wait until the temperature drops for good so I can start getting my baking on! 

Every year I make this huge list of things I want to try baking, and this year I got inspired to try cooking candy. I have made candy in the past; I made these AMAZING apple cider caramels last year and homemade butterfingers about 10 months ago or so, so I know the basics but I really want to try my hand at making taffy this year. Along with several other things...and I have a brand new stove that I get to abuse and no reason to NOT do it! My poor dutch oven is just sitting on a shelf all sad and unused (since I promised myself I wouldn't fry anything!) just waiting for this season to come upon us! 

On that note, if you don't have a dutch oven, or don't know what a dutch oven is used for, let me explain: a dutch oven is by far the greatest thing ever for any kitchen. As stated above, you can do ANYTHING in it from frying foods to making candy and everything in between. It can go in the oven and go camping with you (yes, can sit in the campfire and everything!) and bake breads and cook soups...I could go on forever. I love my dutch oven, I got it as a wedding present and just stared at it in its box for about a year before I just HAD to get some kind of use for it. I don't even remember what I made in it, but I'm pretty sure I cooked some kind of meat for my first attempt at tamales...and the meat was the only good part about that! But, I fell madly in love and never looked back. 

This year, I hope to let Penny help me out with the regular baking. I look very forward to our first year decorating Christmas cookies and giving our neighbors some goodies. She always wants to help me and I usually give her a small job, but this year one thing we are going to do is make David's birthday cake. I want her to be able to present it, no matter how lopsided and unevenly iced, and be able to say "Look what I made you, Daddy!" 

If you don't know me personally, I'll let you know now that there is nothing more adorable (and, slightly annoying) than how much my oldest daughter LOVES her Daddy!  She loves me too, and enjoys our time together whenever we get it, but I am well aware that she is a daddy's girl, through and through. I do get tired of it, but for the most part I embrace it. 

However, lately Penny has started to take on my mannerisms and hand gestures.  It's very funny.  We spent a good hour the other night making "emotion faces"...I don't think I have laughed that hard in years.  But this big step has also been an eye-opener. I know I can be hard on my kids, and I like to believe it's for their own good and that as long as there is a good balance of love and the firm hand, they will turn out normal. However: 

 This really makes a parent think about how they go about discipline the next time the kids are driving her up a wall!  I think I had great parents, but they weren't perfect and neither am I. I'm not shooting for perfection, but I am bound and determined to try and not make the same mistakes. 

It's a constant fear as a parent, that you will screw up your kid so badly that they won't be able to make it in the real world on their own and have normal social relationships.  You wonder if you are too soft, or too hard on them. You wonder if spanking them will ruin them for life or just teach them to not be a jerkface, and then if you don't spank them you wonder if you are teaching them that they can get away with their actions...and then it just spins out of control.  

But, then there is this time at night when your kids are going to bed and they come up to you with those sleepy eyes and crawl into your lap, wrap their arms around your neck, nuzzle their heads into your chest and just breathe.  And all of it is 100% worth it.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Indecisive much?!

So my lovely husband informed me that for my birthday I can get the tattoo that I have been DYING to get. *Insert celebratory dance moves here!* 

Of course, now that I know I can get it...I can't decide what to get! I went with my good friend, Deedee to get her tattoo, so at least I know where to go to get it done, and I know that I have to wait a couple years (like 5 minimum) to even attempt a tattoo near my scar on my chest, which means that I'll be getting the one(s) for my girls! 

I know I want their names and/or dates of birth, but I don't really know where and I don't really know what kind of design. Welcome to my mind =) I'm mostly leaning towards the back of my neck so I can easily cover it up if I want. That or one on each shoulder blade. Some of the designs I've seen online sparked my interest. 

I like the infinity symbol one (not really the flowers) but it seems like everyone is getting them...and I want to be different =) 
And the one on the back of the neck is just a little more boring than I want. Again, welcome to my mind! 

I'm wondering if I could get one that was my zodiac sign (Libra) with Penny's sign in one part of the scale and Sophia's sign in the other...of course being balanced evenly! 
David isn't a huge fan of tattoos, but I have wanted another for years, especially since my first was meaningful, but stupidly placed and has become quite a joke. 

I really want a pretty tattoo, is that too much to ask?!  And I want it to mean something, especially since I'm doing it with my kids' names. 

As far as turning feels WAY better than turning 25!  I plan to go out and have a margarita and get a tattoo, but other than that I look forward to spending the day with my family. I'm ignoring that I only have FOUR more years until I'm 30 and enjoy the fact that I have a whole four more years before I turn 30 =) And if you understood that sentence, congratulations you speak the language of Katie.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Super-Special Heart even 6+ months later!

I hit a pretty special mile-marker last month. It was officially 6 months since I had open-heart surgery!! I was pretty shocked and excited to realize it, but as my appointment with my cardiologist drew nearer, I was more nervous than anything. I knew that we would be doing another echo to see how well my heart has healed and to see the difference in gradient levels since August of 2011, when I was originally diagnosed.  The gradient is basically the level of blockage caused by the tissue malformation in my heart (caused by the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) and in a normal, healthy heart the gradient level should be zero. I knew my heart would never be a zero, but back in 2011, when they realized the problem, my gradient level was 78. *Zoinks!*  

Also, I had decided to switch cardiologists. I didn't really have anything against my original one, but I had several problems with her staff. The first issue I had was when I had my first follow-up visit after my surgery to get the OK to go back to work. Her nurse had brought her the wrong chart and while my doctor was getting paperwork, she left the chart on the counter in front of me. HUGE violation of a patient's privacy!  Then when I was trying to get a prescription refilled, her nurse left me a message telling me it had been discontinued in March. That didn't add up to what I had discussed with my doctor, but I let it slide since I would be seeing her in a few weeks anyway and could ask her about it in person. Then after I had scheduled my appointment, I got another phone call from her nurse telling me that since I had been seen in May, I didn't need to be seen until November.  I had never been seen in May, so this was the absolute last straw because AGAIN they were getting their patients confused. So I called my primary doctor and had her send me a referral to a cardiologist my sister had originally suggested to me...when will I ever learn to just listen??  

The appointment went great, no big news...had gained a few pounds which pissed me off but I had known it was coming so can't be to mad about it!  Finally, they sent me to get the echo and the moment arrived!  After seeing my echo from August about half a dozen times I actually knew (kind of) what I was looking at, but not how to tell what was good or bad. So instead I did what I do best and watched. I'm pretty sure the echo tech thought I was a complete freak because I was staring DIRECTLY at her face for close to 30-45 minutes.  Finally, she just started smiling and I knew it would be good news, but I still waited.  She looked at me and said "Well, this is just beautiful" My eyes instantly filled with tears. I asked her why and she told me "Dr. Bradley was expecting a gradient in the 30's...but yours is a 24!" And then the tears just flooded.  I know I'm not completely out of the woods and that I still have a heart condition and blah, blah, blah...whatever!  I am SO grateful for the past year that I don't know how people can ever question the possibility of someone watching over us.  I should of had symptoms much more severe before 2011, ESPECIALLY since I went through two pregnancies.  But instead I was blessed with two healthy babies before I found out.  And because I have a wonderful doctor in the family, I was able to get the absolute BEST care that I could and had this amazing surgeon perform my surgery and do SUCH a great job that I'm going to be around to see those two kids grow up and be amazing, beautiful women. And I get to grow old with the greatest husband in the world.  

Since my last post, my youngest turned 1 year old, and the oldest turned 3. We have moved into a rental house that is, in the nicest words possible, a challenge.  But we have put a lot of love and sweat into it and it's starting to feel like a home. A temporary home. As in the day our lease is up, we will be LONG gone. Forever. And I won't cry!